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Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver spins off in Formula 1 testing in Barcelona

Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver spins off in Formula 1 testing in Barcelona

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso - who was one of the chief catalysts for the powerplant change - returns for what will be the Spaniard's fourth consecutive season with McLaren, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne prepares for his second year in F1. "The auto certainly looks very neat and well thought-out, and I think the new colour looks really great; really eye-catching".

He added of Alonso's spin: "There was no drama in the garage and everyone was quite relaxed and getting on with it".

"We kept the motivation very high, I think the team is stronger now than three years ago".

Last year, Alonso's Honda-powered McLaren broke down on the first lap of preseason testing because of a malfunction to its oil system that required the engine to be changed.

Alonso's fastest time on Monday was deleted at the end of the session as he skipped the final chicane in order to get ahead of another vehicle, demoting him from fifth originally to seventh. I know 80 per cent of people in the garage and how they work and how much attention they play to driveability and the performance of the engine.

"So far, so good", he said. There are a few things we are trying to change and adapt like every new vehicle. The vehicle felt good both here and in Navarra, and there's definitely strong potential.

Racing director Eric Boullier, who was boss at the Renault-engined Lotus team in 2010-13, also described early progress as "so far, so good". "A vehicle in the gravel makes a big thing". "We're going to lose very little time, no big deal at all".

"Looking at our new vehicle, I feel incredibly excited - but also apprehensive", Alonso said. "We'll get back out here this afternoon", Brown said.

"Now in winter testing we need to make sure that we optimise this package but so far I'm very happy and very optimistic, I think the team did an fantastic job in the last couple of months", added the former Renault and Ferrari driver.

The Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk for all days of winter testing while Sky Sports News will also deliver live updates from trackside.

"If we're able to develop the key strengths of last year's chassis and marry it to an improved Renault power unit, then I think we'll be able to take a step forwards".

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